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JulWriMo/JulWriSo...totally confused....

With my crazy hours it seems that I am perpetually out of sync with life and the world. I do not know if I am ahead, behind or on schedule with my writing. I am here, writing my little heart out...okay, okay...I am here getting some words written. (Is that better?) I just don't know if I am coming or going LOL!!!! At least I can say that I am writing and making the effort to get words down every 24 hours. Hey, who can ask for anything more?

Here is a story that I am going to try to relate as much as I can remember about...I was reminded of it in a Facebook group dedicated to a restaurant that is "no more" but that many of us still fondly remember and miss greatly but I get ahead of myself. Back in 1982 or so I was working at an answering service. At this time there was an alarm monitoring company that was operated by people who were disabled. I am not sure about the disabilities of the man who owned the company...there was a lot of conflicting information but the guys who ran the company were visually impaired and some were completely blind. The owner decided that they could bring in even more money if they started an "answering service" to fill the extra time between alarms. Call forwarding was becoming widely available in Little Rock in those days so the company which I will call "Orion's" decided to have a very low tech answering service. They had customers "call forward" calls to a single number. The phone was simply answered with the phrase, "Answering Service" (classy huh) and then messages were filed in the boxes for the different customers. "Orion's" was non-professional but cheap. It also "played the disability" card. They would call businesses, talk about their services and their very low rates, then to "seal the solicitation deal" they would discuss the fact that the owner and all employees were disabled and that by using their services instead of the other answering services available that they would be helping to support the disabled citizens of the city. Well, that pitch worked as did the bargain basement rates and people were dropping services with the other answering services including the one that I worked for to be customers at "Orion's." It was most vexing because their service was sloppy and made all answering services look bad. Besides we employed many single mothers and disabled workers. "Orion's" did not have the market on hiring those who most needed jobs. We also provided better service.

In the midst of this controversy, one of the guys who worked the graveyard shift used to call me when he was getting tired so he would have someone to talk to. Back then unless you had cable there was no 24 hour programming and it could be hard to stay awake during the graveyard shift. There would be a time that unless there was an alarm or a call from a riverboat, after everyone went to sleep there would only be the hourly check-in from security guards at different locations and the occasional wake up call, so for a few hours even we didn't have much to do especially when all of the filing was caught up. So I would spend some time gabbing with this guy unless I had something that I needed to attend to.

Well, one night the guy on duty decided that I didn't get out enough and that I needed to date some. I really don't remember how this conversation got started and I don't really remember being without anyone to date. Even if I had been that would have been okay with me. What it came down to was that he had a friend who was "lonely" and wanted someone to talk to and date. That's is where I came in. I was an available female. Well, I had no aversion to having a trial date with some guy. He was blind. That didn't bother me. We talked on the phone some. He seemed likeable enough so when a Charlie Daniels concert came around we made a date to go. Now I can swear to who paid for the tickets but I think I did. It was sort of a date with the guy who I will call "Mikey" but my friend Essie and my son went too. It wasn't exactly an intimate affair that is for sure.

On the night of the concert we went to pickup "Mikey" and immediately I knew that I had made a mistake, a big mistake. In person he was an obnoxious asshole, also he didn't bring his white can and expected to be led around and catered to. Now most visually impaired people I have ever been around have been fiercely independent. This behavior took me aback. I was not impressed in the least. I was stuck with him for the night but I was already pretty sure that I would NEVER go out with him again. This decision was made in the first five minutes. The impression and the decision never changed throughout the evening.

We went to the restaurant mentioned above, Taco Kid, for dinner. I was paying for dinner. I remember that part for certain. This guy ordered a DOZEN burritos. Not only was that expensive but he only ate two or three burritos leaving the others to be thrown out. There was no way to take them home and save them before the concert and to say that I was peeved about his rudeness and waste is an understatement.

After dinner we went to the concert. Instead of listening to the music he wanted to whine and carry on about his life. I should have put him in a cab and sent him home. My friend Essie and my son moved to a different part of the arena so that they could enjoy Charlie Daniels and I was stuck with this total loser for the duration. I was never so glad to get someone home and out of my presence. Okay, maybe I have been more glad or just as glad to get rid of some other people over the years but this guy is surely in the top five. It was awful AND it cost me a lot of money. I also didn't get to enjoy a concert that I am sure I bought the tickets for although I can't swear to it.

This guy and his friend tried to get me to talk to him and see him again but it just wasn't happening. I certainly didn't need a rude man in my life. I had enough to deal with and I wrote old "Mikey" off pronto. Never mess with my money or my enjoyment of a concert. It will not go well for you.

Now I am an old fat grannie. I don't go to concerts any longer because I can't begin to afford them. Taco Kid is just a memory and life is very different now than it was 30 some odd years ago but I still don't need any rude people in my life. Just sayin'!



Jul. 13th, 2013 03:44 pm (UTC)
Laughing - funny now, but I bet it wasn't even a little funny then. Ardee, was your phone system the pull the wire and knob kind? When I started working it was the last days of that system, and they transferred over to a push button one - but it was a HUGE switchboard!! What we can do now with our own home lines took whole big board then!! LOL!!! :)
Jul. 14th, 2013 04:45 am (UTC)
Yes, we used cords and boards when I first started at the answering service. I learned how to use the cords and boards when my mom worked at the answering service back in the 60s. I have used the "modern" equipment but still thing the cords and boards were the best. I truly miss them.


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